Adelaide forum to set the scene for 2013 cropping season

Author: Sharon Watt | Date: 18 Jan 2013

David Shannon

Key points:

  • GRDC Grains Research Adviser Update in Adelaide on February 12-13
  • Focus on developing robust cropping systems

Farming systems built to withstand the impact of weeds, diseases, pests, seasonal constraints and market vagaries will take centre stage in Adelaide next month.

The Grains Research and Development Corporation’s annual Grains Research Update will focus on those significant cropping issues expected to confront South Australian grain growers in season 2013 and beyond.

The forum, entitled Robust cropping systems – the next steps­, will be attended by agronomists, consultants, researchers, growers and other grains industry personnel committed to ensuring the state’s grains sector remains productive and profitable well into the future.

To be held at Adelaide Convention Centre on February 12 and 13, the Update will feature a line-up of expert speakers from throughout Australia who will provide insights into relevant subjects and advice about progressing cropping enterprises in the face of ever-present challenges.

GRDC Southern Regional Panel chairman David Shannon says the annual Update plays a critical role in delivering information, knowledge and resources to farm advisers who can in turn inform their farming clients and prepare them for the season ahead.

“The forum is aimed at disseminating cutting-edge advice and intelligence to contribute to the establishment and maintenance of viable and efficient cropping systems,” Mr Shannon said.

“The pressure on grain growers to keep on top of all the challenges that continue to emerge is enormous, so it is vital that the professionals who provide a service to growers are kept up to date with the latest information, techniques and technologies.”

This year’s comprehensive program will tackle a broad range of topics – from big picture subjects such as global agriculture trends and grain market shifts, to grass-roots agronomic issues such as snails and slugs, weed control and disease management.

Keynote speakers include Emergent Futures consultant Paul Higgins who will offer his thoughts on the strategies needed for grain-growing businesses to flourish in a fast-moving, time-critical modern world, and Profarmer editor Malcolm Bartholomaeus will examine the trends and shifts in grain markets and the feed grain and container trade.

South Australia’s new spray drift legislation will be a key issue on the agenda, with John Kassebaum of BioSecurity SA and consultant Peter Cousins to explain how changes will affect spray activities throughout the State.

Professor David Lamb from the University of New England will explore the impacts of emerging technology “game changers” – including the National Broadband Network – on farm management and crop husbandry.

Other topics include herbicide resistance in problematic weeds, which continues to be a cause for concern. Already a serious issue in Western Australia, wild radish is now threatening southern cropping systems and NuFarm WA’s Bill Campbell will provide a first-hand account of the costs and difficulties in managing the rampant weed.

Sam Kleeman from the University of Adelaide will offer new insights into pre-emergent herbicides and the use of disc-seeders which can be set up to minimise crop damage, while CSIRO Plant Industry researcher James Hunt will discuss sowing dates and how growers can get the best out of current wheat varieties.

Other topics to be tackled during the two-day forum include understanding farmer decision making and adoption behavior, the latest barley varieties for 2013, brome and barley grass resistance, the virtues of variable rate application, blackleg management, and lessons to be learnt from snail baiting and spray trial results.

A detailed program can be obtained by visiting or or by contacting ORM on 03 5441 6176 or email


Caption: GRDC Southern Regional Panel chair David Shannon says the annual Adelaide Update plays a critical role in delivering information, knowledge and resources to farm advisers who can in turn inform their farming clients and prepare them for the season ahead.

For more information:

Matt McCarthy, ORM
03 5441 6176


Sharon Watt, Porter Novelli
0409 675100

GRDC Project Code ORM00001

Region South